So off we went to the school for a school tour. First danger sign - the school was not at all associated with Harvard University but upon entry, there was a huge sign of "HARVARD" in the foyer. Apparently, the directress studied in Harvard - though I wasn't sure if she studied Masters or just took some certificate course (like Sen. Miriam). But I really found it in bad taste for the school to be plastering "Harvard" signs when it was not at all accredited with that school. Next, during the school tour, the directress was in school but she never met us. It was just a receptionist (with bad English at that!) who took us around the school. Third warning sign - I was able to get their brochure and noted how they were affiliated with about 5-6 international organizations. One of the organizations was based in Cavite so I called this organization and asked if XXX school was appreciated. The organization was shocked because it was the first time they heard of that school and they confirmed that the school was not a member.
Acting on my suspicious, I emailed another organization (listed on the Malate school's website) based in Washington, D.C. and the organization replied that the school was not at all accredited! But I wanted to give the school a chance since I really wanted to put Naima there. So I emailed the directress to seek a clarification. No reply - so scratched that school off my list.
Next school rant - this time, it's a school in Mandaluyong City. I had a relative who was diagnosed as a high-functioning Asperger's individual. He was about to enter grade school so we were trying to look for a school he could go to. I suggested this school in Mandaluyong because it was highly recommended by friends. So late last year, we did school tours and obtained details on application. Early this year, the dad asked the school again if they were still accepting applications for special students. He was informed yes and the student will be assessed if he will be suitable. We were also informed that the school has an attached preschool and students from that school will be given priority for entry into the grade school. However, he was assured that applications were still being accepted. So off we went to complete the requirements, doing several tests and evaluations, on hearing, from the developmental pedia, recommendations from his old school, etc. etc.
After completing the requirements, the dad submitted them to the school (in mid-February) along with the P500 application fee. A week after, the dad followed up the schedule for assessment and was informed that the directress received the application and wrote "QUOTA FOR SPED IS FILLED FROM XXX PRESCHOOL". We were surprised since the dad had confirmed that slots were still available. I asked a friend to intervene and this friend emailed the directress. The directress told her that the student did not pass the initial assessment. Again we were surprised since this was different from what the admissions office told the dad when he followed up.
So I wrote an email to the directress with the following excerpts:
The directress replied, excerpts below:
However, I still was not satisfied so I requested for a clarification by sending a follow-up email:
I wanted to emphasize to the directress that their admissions procedure was very UNCLEAR and I really felt that my relative had been fleeced of the P500 application fee. If there were more than enough students from AFFILIATED PRESCHOOL for the SPED quota of BIG SCHOOL, then why did they still accept applications from new students, along with the P500 application fee?
I'm really frustrated with my experience with these 2 schools. I've also heard and read about other horror stories from other parents. And this makes me wonder if DepEd is regulating schools in the Metro, given the high charges and fees that these schools charge parents. There should really be a consumer hotline for parents to report unethical practices of schools!
*Please private message me if you want to know the names of these 2 schools.